History of National Smooth Dancers

Bakersfield Smooth Dancers
The Best Dance Club in California

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History of NSD

SYNOPSIS  by Margaret L. Crager


Birth took place in the City of Los Angeles in the year 1937. The sires of this group were members of a hilarious early morning radio talk show. Their interests were many - dancing was one of them. They had become highly disturbed over a wild new dance craze that had just hit the dance board called the "jitterbug". They wanted no part of the wild gyrations and decided to form a club of their own. It was further decided that each member could bring in five new members.

In six months they had 40 members who had successfully met their criteria. Their rules were strict. One required the gentleman, entering a major dance contest, to have the heels of his shoes chalked. Should the heel touch the floor, he was eliminated. They wore truly smooth dancers. You were required to be an American Citizen, win at least three major dance contests, and own a tuxedo and a white suit for summer.

In 1939, two years after their founding, women were permitted to join, but they had no voice. Rumblings of World War II drastically curtailed dance activities in the Los Angeles and beach area. In 1942, all clubs were forced to disband because the men had become part of the Armed Forces and the fabulous dance bands were sent to play at some of the military installations.

After D-Day, some of the dance clubs re-grouped and in 1947 the Los Angeles group incorporated themselves. In 1949, a dance group in San Diego exercised the same privilege. In 1950, group number three was established in San Francisco and was named Golden Gate Chapter. Good news traveled fast and soon there were chapters in Fresno, Palamar, Visalia, San Fernando and Bakersfield. NSD expanded up and down California to a total of 14 chapters.

The first State Convention was held in 1951 in the City of San Francisco and Golden Gate had not yet had their first birthday! It was also the first year of the publication of Dance Whispers, the monthly newsletter which we still eagerly look forward to reading which lists the coming attractions and social activities which we all enjoy.

The election of the first State Queen took place in 1952. This high honor is given to me lady who has devoted much time and energy to and for the betterment other chapter. She also served and continues to serve as an ambassadress when visiting other chapters.

NSD is a non-profit organization. Every year, each chapter elects to sponsor some group or charitable organization that we hope can profit from our hobby and love of dancing. In doing so, we can contribute to our respective communities.

Today, there are nine chapters that carry out me real purpose of NSD, namely, to promote the great enjoyment of dance. After 65 years, our love of dancing has not diminished and our new and lasting friendships have brought great joy and happiness to each one of us. Whoever you are, keep dancing!

Bakersfield Smooth Dancers, Inc. was chartered May 30, 1964, with 29 charter members.  In March 2007 we have 166 members. Like all chapters  we have a Queen.  The Queen is a special ambassador who represents us at other chapter coronations and is an honorary position.  She is the chapter hostess at all events. All chapters join in the coronation pageant in March  which is three day affair called  "The State Board.."     The coronation evening is the highlight of three days of dancing, dance competition, and fine food.

Home | Upcoming Dances | Dance Lessons | Smooth News | Minutes of Last Meeting | Grange News | History of Smooth Dancers 
How to Join | How To Contact a Live Smooth Dancer | Pictures Taken at Dances | Dance Rules & By-Laws | Contact us | Links | Support Our Supporters

Copyright 2006 Bakersfield Chapter of National Smooth Dancers
Bakersfield Smooth Dancers
P.O. Box 1555
Bakersfield, CA 93302
Phone: 661 321-9636 or 322-7987
Fax 661-637-1050 email mrkephart@aol.com
Last Updated 02/20/2015